The USC Offense
Make no mistake, the USC Trojans on both offense and defense are full of talent, skill and most of all pride which means a lot to historical program such as the Trojans. The USC football program “is back” apparently as the Trojans start life post-sanctions and are looking to reclaim their place atop the Pac-12.
On offense, that starts with QB Cody Kessler who has caught all sorts of attention this off-season and is even expected to win the Heisman. He will have one of the better offensive lines in the Pac-12 which will be lead by powerhouse center Max Tuerk. Though it is unknown who will take over at running back for Buck Allen, it seems the likely candidates are Justin Davis and Tre Madden.
The Trojans have several wide receivers to make plays which includes primary target Juju Smith as well as Darreus Rogers and Steven Mitchell. There is even rumor that DB Adoree Jackson will get time at WR. With these players leading the charge, the USC passing game will undeniably be the strong point of the offensive game, though Sarkisian is certain they will be a run-first team.
The question is, can USC be successful with all of these weapons against teams with good defenses like UCLA? Last year the Trojans floundered against tougher teams, especially Kessler who had a harder time against UCLA, Utah and Arizona State (even Boston College). Here are Kessler’s stats in those loses compared to the rest of his season:
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Looking back at the 2014 match-up, one of the glaring deficiencies of the Trojans was that they seemed to run out of gas against the Bruins. UCLA had dominated the trenches and threw Kessler off his game as he was sacked by UCLA six times. Expect more of the same from the Bruin defense, though they will have a bit more trouble with the USC offense this season as they are older and wiser.
Next: The USC Defense vs UCLA Offense